With increasing noise pollution, ototoxic drugs, ototoxic chemicals the incidence of old age deafness is on increase. The WHO estimates 360 million individuals in the world have disabling hearing loss, of which 91% are adults and only 9% are children.
Disabling hearing loss is >40 dB hearing loss in better ear in a person above the age of 15 years and >30 dB in better ear below the age of 15 years.
In India, 63 million people (6.3%) suffer from significant auditory loss
Four in every 1000 children suffer from severe to profound hearing loss.
Over 100,000 babies are born with hearing deficiency every year.
The estimated prevalence of adult-onset deafness in India was found to be 7.6% and childhood onset deafness to be 2%.
The National Sample Survey 58th round (2002) surveyed disability in Indian households and found that hearing disability was the 2nd most common cause of disability and top most cause of sensory deficit.
The survey results revealed that about 7% of people were born with a hearing disability. About 56% and 62% reported the onset of hearing disability at ≥60 years of age in the rural and urban areas, respectively.
There is an increase in old age deafness, up to 40% senior citizen above the age of 75 have a disabling hearing loss out of which only 20% are expected to be benefited with hearing aid.
It has also been stated by the WHO that there is a shortage of human resources to address the issue of deafness. The audiologist: Population ratio was found to be 1:500,000 and the ratio of speech therapists to the deaf population are 1:200.